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On March 10, Texas A&M University-Commerce will celebrate its centennial as a public institution of higher education. The small, private college originally known as East Texas Normal College began as a privately funded teacher’s college in Cooper, Texas. Through the visionary efforts of founder William Leonidas Mayo, the college’s appeal to become a state institution was granted by the state legislature in the spring of 1917. Professor Mayo’s long-held dream of making a college education an affordable reality for Texans was realized, but Mayo did not live to learn of his triumph. The telegram announcing the good news arrived minutes after Mayo’s passing.

We will honor our 100 years of history as Lions with a number of events designed to celebrate our institution’s history and how we are going to make our next 100 years even more inspiring. Please join us at 9:30 a.m. on the lawn of Heritage House for a morning rich with new music, food, fun and an exciting look at where our great university has been and what the future holds for our next century as Lions.




Our Century as Lions schedule of events


8:30 Welcome Reception Heritage House lawn Coffee and continental breakfast
9:30 Our Century as Lions


Heritage House lawn Original fanfare created to celebrate our 100 years as Lions—student brass ensemble


Welcome and introductions—President Ray Keck
Presentations and proclamations—Senator Bob Hall and Representative Dan Flynn


Our Guest Speakers

  • Student body president—Will Horton
  • Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp
    Our Century as Lions
  • President Emeritus Dr. Keith McFarland
    Connecting with Century as Lions and looking forward to our next event—Vice President for Media Relations and Community Engagement, Noah Nelson


The Texas A&M University-Commerce Fight Song—student Brass Ensemble and Choir

10:00 Procession to Groundbreaking at Gee Lake Walking Mall Self-guided tour of the Our Century as Lions light pole banners
11:00 Nursing & Health Sciences Building Groundbreaking Gee Lake at University Drive Connecting our past and our future—Commerce Mayor Wyman Williams
Looking forward to our next 100 years—President Ray  Keck
Remarks delivered by Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp
Remarks delivered by Representative Dan Flynn and
Senator Bob HallPerspectives on the New Nursing and Health Sciences Building—Dr. Tara Tietjen-Smith, Department of Health and Human Performance
Dr. Barbara Tucker, Department of NursingDr. Larry Lemanski, Biological Institute for Regenerative Medicine
The memorial garden project—Vincent Phillips, Class of 2016
Our Alma Mater—Student Brass Ensemble and Choir
Nursing and Health Science Building Groundbreaking Ceremony
12:00 Lunch Rayburn Student Center Cookout-style fare